Sunday 21 January 2018

Baraclough to take on role as Northern Irish U-21 manager

Former Sligo Rovers manager Ian Baraclough. Photo: Sportsfile
Former Sligo Rovers manager Ian Baraclough. Photo: Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Former Sligo Rovers boss Ian Baraclough has landed a new post as manager of the Northern Ireland U-21 side.

Baraclough, who is currently the assistant at Oldham Athletic, had been linked with the vacant role at Limerick.

But the Englishman has seen off competition from ex-Northern Irish international Warren Feeney to land a role with the IFA.

He won a league title with Sligo in 2012 and lifted the FAI Cup a year later but he parted ways with the Bit'O'Red after a disappointing start to the 2014 campaign and subsequently had a brief spell with Motherwell.

A return to the Showgrounds was floated when Sligo went in search of a manager last month yet that prospect was dismissed.

Ironically enough, Sligo went north of the border to find their replacement for Dave Robertson with Gerard Lyttle settling into his first week in charge after leaving Cliftonville to take control.

He watched his new team draw with Derry City on Saturday to sit third from bottom and says he is excited by the prospect of working full-time in the League of Ireland.

"I'm not one bit daunted," says the 39-year-old, who will relocate to Connacht to embrace the next chapter of his career after he took advice from Northern Ireland senior manager Michael O'Neill, Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers and ex-Sligo supremo Willie McStay about his decision.

"I'd say a few people would raise their eyebrows and question a part-time manager going into a full-time set up but I've always had a full-time mentality and anybody that knows me knows that," Lyttle continued.

"I'm looking forward to getting stuck in, working with the group and putting our ideas across slowly but surely.

"Hopefully in the next couple of weeks, we'll see a big improvement."

Irish Independent

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